Today’s Word from Minister of Music Karl Olsen…

All God’s critters got a place in the choir.  Bill Staines

Can you be inspired by a goat? Or by its story? Well, I guess that depends on the goat. And the story, and, in this case, the storyteller. Who loves goats.

That’s what happened to me this week. I was planning on presenting a totally different song today, with roots in struggle and our Christian history… but then I read my friend (and fellow TLC staff member) Amy’s missive yesterday (check it out here if you missed it), and it inspired me to work up a song from another friend and songwriter, Carrie Newcomer.

Now, I imagine I’ll never be in the position to disbud a goat… in fact, I’ll probably make it a plan to avoid that situation… as it sounds like emotionally hard, traumatic work, though ultimately beneficial. My wife Deb will tell you that I can get a wee bit emotional when those hard times come with our animals. I’ll be there, because of the love, but they can be hard times. But Amy’s post did refer to “doing hard things.”

Carrie, by chance, has written a song called You Can Do This Hard Thing. Carrie, who has sung here a couple of times (and was slated to return, but for this pandemic) is a talented songwriter, singer, guitar player and storyteller. She has done lots of work with Parker Palmer, and often performs with her friend and pianist, Gary Walters.

Last Sunday, Deb and Ron Rossel and I played another of Carrie’s songs, Lean in Toward the Light. In short, it says that in hard times, in times when it seems that things are not working out, or are at least taking for-ev-er, we need to lean in toward the light, be kind, and keep practicing resurrection. Little acts of resurrection along the way can be a powerful thing. The shadows of this world will say “there’s no hope, why try anyway?” But we remember Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12, “Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve God by serving God’s people.” And, sometimes, taking care of God’s goats.

During this Lenten season, if things are a challenge, know you have company. And you have company on the journey as we travel toward the light. Call on a friend to listen, listen to some good music, take a moment to remember all the good—there is much good in this world. Whether it’s goats, your job, or your family, know that we can do all these hard things while we lean into the light, serving all of God’s children.

Enjoy this version of You Can Do This Hard Thing. (You can listen to Carrie’s original—and other songs—HERE.)

Blessings for the journey.